tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 5, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
in light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists in the united states argued we had to take military action , to hasten soviets what they saw as inevitable confrontation. but the president offered a different alternative. in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. but he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing. strong, he promised principled american leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace. peace notot on -- a nature, butlution an evolution of human
institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements. help guide ourld ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. with kennedy at the helm, the cuban missile crisis was resolved peacefully. under democrats and republican presidents, new agreements were forged. a nonproliferation treaty that prohibited nations to develop nuclear weapons. start treaties that abound the united states and the soviet union to cooperation on arms control. averted. conflict was but the world avoided nuclear catastrophe. and we created the time in the to win the cold war
without firing a shot at the soviets. the agreement now reached by the international community and the islamic republic of iran builds on this tradition of strong, diplomacy. polic we have arranged a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits iran from developing a nuclear weapon. it cuts off all of iran's pathways to a bomb. it contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. was true in previous treaties, it does not resolve all problems. it certainly doesn't resolve all of our problems with iran. it doesn't ensure a warming between our two countries.
but it achieves one of our most vertical security objectives. good deal. is a very today, i want to speak to you about this deal and the most consequential foreign-policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of iraq. as congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough or instead locks over the -- blocks over the objection of the vast majority of the world. between now and the congressional vote in september, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. and if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should. for many of the same people who argued for the war in iraq are
now making the case against the iran nuclear deal. when i ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who opposed the decision to go to that americai said did not just have to end that war. mindset that the got us there in the first place. it was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy. onindset that put a premium unilateral u.s. action over the painstaking work of holding international consensus -- of building international consensus. a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported. leaders did not level with the american people about the costs of war, insisting that we could
easily oppose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history. and of course, those calling for war made themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak. named malevolent adversary. more than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade iraq. our troops achieved every mission they were given. but thousands of lives were lost. tens of thousands wounded. that doesn't count the lives lost among iraqis. nearly a trillion dollars was spent. gripped by remains
sectarian conflict and the emergence of al qaeda in iraq has now evolved -- now evolved into isis. and ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the was thef that war islamic republic of iran. position strategic strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, saddam hussein. i raise this history because, now more than ever, we need your thinking in our foreign-policy. and i raise this history because it bears directly on how were -- how we respond directly to the iran nuclear program. that program has been around for decades, dating back to the shah's efforts, with u.s. support, in the 1860's and 1970's to develop nuclear power.
the united states government, by the time i took office, iran had installed several thousand centrifuges and showed no a collation to slow, much less halt, it's program. -- its program. among u.s. policymakers, there has never been disagreement on the danger posed by an iranian nuclear bomb. democrats and republicans alike recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world's most unstable region and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown. it would embolden terrorist groups like hezbollah and impose unacceptable risk to israel, which iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to destroy. more broadly, it could unravel the global commitment to nonproliferation that the world has done so much to defend. not whether then is to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but how. even before taking office, i made clear that iran would not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon on my watch. and it has been my policy throughout my presidency to keep all options, including possible military actions, on the table to achieve that objective.
but i have also made clear my preference for a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the issue. not just because of the costs of war, but also because a negotiated agreement offered a more effective, verifiable, and durable resolution. in 2011, we let the iranians know that a diplomatic path -- iran failed to take that path. and our intelligence committee exposed to the existence of a covert nuclear facility. that iran'sgued intransigence show the futility of negotiations. it was our willingness to negotiate that helped rally the world to our cause and secure international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions.
unilateral u.s. sanctions for iran have been in place for decades but had failed to pressure iran to the negotiating table. what was effective was our building and drawing upon withteral resolutions voluntary agreements for nations like china and india, japan and south korea, to reduce their purchases of iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our european allies of a total oil embargo. this global buy-in was 90's -- was not easy. i know you i was there. lostme cases, our partners billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate. but we were able to convince them that, absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be
war with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the middle east. words, it was diplomacy , hard, painstaking diplomacy, not saber rattling, not tough talk, that ratcheted up the pressure on iran. with the world now unified beside us, iran's economy contracted severely and remains about 20% smaller today than it would have otherwise been. no doubt this hardship played a role in iran's 2013 elections, when the iranian people elected toew government, the promise improve the economy with engagement to the world. a window had cracked open. iran came back to the nuclear talks. and after a series of
withiations, iran agreed the international community to a deal thateal, rolled back iran's stockpile of new 20% enriched uranium -- of nearly 20% enriched uranium and -- d could negotiate a go without the fear that iran might be stalling for time. here just to remind everybody that, when the interim deal was announced, critics, the same critics we are hearing from now, called it a historic mistake. they insisted iran would ignore its obligations. they want the sanctions would unravel.
they warned that iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism. the critics were wrong. the progress of iran's nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade. it's stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced. the deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped. inspections did increase. there was no flood of money into iran. and the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. in fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. think about that. what was once proclaimed as an historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not
sign the competence of deal. so keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today. despite the criticism, we moved ahead to negotiate a more lasting, comp has a deal. -- comprehensive deal. nuclear experts, including one of the best in the world, work tirelessly on a technical details. in july, we really -- we reached a competence of planet back to an -- plan of action that met our competence of objectives. the agreement strictly defines the manner in which its nuclear program can proceed, ensuring
that all pathways to a bomb are cut off. here is how. cannothis deal, iran acquire the plutonium needed for a bomb. reactor in its heavy iraq will be replaced with one that will not produce plutonium for a weapon. the spent fuel from the reactor will be shipped out of the country and iran will not build any new heavywater reactors for at least 15 years. iran will also not be able to acquire the enriched uranium that could be used for bomb. soon as this deal is implement, iran will remove two thirds of its centrifuges. for the next decade, iran will not enrich uranium with its more advanced centrifuges. iran will not enrich uranium at the previously undisclosed facility that is deep underground for at least 15 years.
iran will get rid of 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is currently enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs, for the next 15 years. even after those 15 years have passed, iran will never have the right to use a peaceful program as cover to pursue a weapon. and in fact, this deal shuts off the type of covert path iran pursued in the past. there will be tried for seven monitoring of iran's nuclear facilities -- there will be twice for/7 monitoring of iran's nuclear facilities. understand why this is so important. for iran to cheat, it has to build a lot more than just one building or covert facility.
it would need a secret source for every single aspect of its program. no nation in history has been able to pull off such centrifuge when subjected to such rigorous inspections. the terms of the deal, inspectors will have the permanent ability to inspect any suspicious sites in iran. finally, iran has powerful incentives to keep its commitments. relief,etting sanctions iran has to take significant, concrete steps, like removing centrifuges and getting rid of its stockpile. if iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap racking to place. we won't -- will snap back into place. america can trigger snap back on its own. however, if iran abides by the deal and its economy begins to
reintegrate with the world, the incentives to avoid snapback will only grow. just theeal is not best choice among alternatives. this is the strongest, nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated. and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented the exception of the israeli government, has expressed support. the united nations security council has unanimously supported it. the majority of arms control and nonproliferation expert support it. ambassadors who served under republican and democratic presidents support it. had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether
or not this deal is good for american security is not one of those calls. it's not even close. unfortunately, we are living through a time in american politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism, evaluated by headline-grabbing soundbites. and so, before the ink was even dry on the deal, before commerce even read it, -- before congress even read it, a majority of republicans declared their fear lent opposition -- their vi rulent opposition. attendance were transformed into armchair nuclear scientists to dr. moniz.erts alike contradictingbly
arguments about why congress should reject this deal. but if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. so let me address just a few of the arguments made so far in opposition to this deal. first, there are those who say that the inspections are not strong enough because inspectors cannot go to iran at any time with no notice. here's the truth. inspectors will be allowed daily access to iran's key nuclear sites. if there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious, undeclared site anywhere in iran, inspectors will get that access, even if iran objects. -- in fact, it can be with as little as 24 hours
notice. while the dispute of axis access can days -- take 24 days,. nuclear material isn't something you hide in the closet. [laughter] you can leave a trace for years. is, if iranine cheats, we can catch them and we will. second, there are those who argue that the deal isn't strong enough because some of the limitations on iran's civilian nuclear programs expire in 15 years. let me repeat. ban on weapons-related research is permanent. inspections are permanent. it is true that some of the limitations regarding iran's
diesel program let -- peaceful program last only 15 years. but that is how arms control agreements work. the first treaty with the soviet union lasted five years. the first start treaty lasted 15 years. situation, ifrent 15 or 20 years run out iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the united states will have better tools to detect -- 20 years from now iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the united states will have better tools to detect and stop a weapons program as we have today, including if necessary military options. on the other hand, without this deal, the scenarios the critics warn about happening in 15 years could happen six months from now. by killing this deal, congress
would not merely a iran's pathway to a bomb. it would accelerate it. third, a number of critics say the deal isn't worth it because iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief. let's be clear. the international sections were to in place to get iran agree to constraint on its program. that's the point of sanctions. any negotiated agreement with iran would involve sanctions relief. so an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue. it is true that, if iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money, money that has been frozen
overseas by the countries. with all this money funneled into iran's pernicious activities misses the reality of iran's current situation. partly because of our sanctions, the iranian government has over half $1 trillion in urgent requirements from funding pensions and salaries to paying for crumbling infrastructure. iran's leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives. even a repressive regime like iran's cannot completely ignore those expectations. and that's why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the iranian people. this is not to say the sanctions relief will provide no benefit to iran's military. let's stipulate that some of that money will flow to
activities that we object to. we have no illusions about the iranian government or the significance of the revolutionary guard and the quds force. iran supports terrorist organizations like hezbollah. it supports profit groups that threaten our interests and interests of our allies, including proxy groups who killed our troops in iraq. destabilize our lflf partners -- our gu partners. but iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. they engaged in them before sanctionsand while were in place. in fact, i ran engaged in these sanctions in the middle of the iran-iraq war, a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.
the truth is that iran has always found a way to fund these efforts -. pales in relief comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon. moreover, there is no scenario where sanctions relief turns iran into the region's dominant power. iran's defense budget is eight times smaller than the combined budget of our gulf allies. their conventional capabilities israel's. compare to last several years, iran has had to spend billions of dollars to support its only , basharthe arab world
al-assad. iran, like the rest of the region, is being forced to respond to the threat of isil in iraq. contrary to the alarmists who to take over ready the middle east or even the world, iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges. dangerous regime is and it is repressive. we will continue to have sanctions in place on iran's support for terrorism and violation of human rights. we will continue to insist upon the release of americans detained unjustly. we will have a lot of differences with the iranian regime. but if we are serious about confronting iran's destabilizing activities, it is hard to imagine a worse approach than
blocking this deal. check thee need to behavior that we are concerned -- bydirectly, by had helping our allies in the region strengthen their own ability to counter a cyber attack or ebola stick missile, by improving the introduction of weapons shipments that go to groups like hezbollah, by training our allies' special forces so they can more effectively respond to situations like yemen. all these capabilities will make a difference. be in a stronger position to implement them with this deal. and by the way, such a strategy also helps us effectively confront the immediate and lethal threat posed by isil. the final criticism, the sort of catchall that you may hear, is
the notion that there is a better deal to be had. we should get a better deal. that is repeated over and over again. it's a bad deal. we need a better deal. [laughter] one that relies on big promises , more recently, the argument that we can apply a broader and in definite set of sanctions to squeeze the iranian regime those making this argument are either ignorant of iranian society or they are not being straight with the american people. alone are not going to force iran to completely dismantle all vestiges of its nuclear infrastructure even aspects that are consistent with
peaceful programs. that is often what the critics are calling a better deal. government iranian or the iranian opposition or the iranian people would agree to what they would do as a total surrender of their sovereignty. our closest allies in europe or asia, much less china or russia, are not going to agree to enforce the existing sanctions for another 5, 10, or 15 years according to the dictates of the u.s. congress. because the willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on iran and ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. it was not based on the believe that iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power. it certainly was not based on a
desire for regime change in iran. as a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. ouread of strengthening position as some have suggested, congress's rejection would almost certainly result in multilateral sanctions unraveling. adjusted, also been's we try to maintain unilateral sanctions, beaten them up -- be up, we would standalone. foreign, dictate the economic, and energy policies of every major power in the world. in order to even try to do that,
we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world's largest banks. we would have to cut off countries like china from the american financial system. since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and raise questions internationally about the dollars role as the world's reserve currency. that is part of the reason why many previous unilateral sanctions were waived. it's more likely to happen, should congress reject the deal, that iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any constraints or inspections required by the deal. in that sense, the critics are right. walk away and you will get a better deal. for iran.
[applause] pres. obama: because more sanctions won't produce the result that critics want, we have to be honest. congressional rejection of this deal leaves any u.s. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option. another war in the middle east. i say this not to be provocative. i'm stating a fact. iran will bedeal, in a position, however tough our rhetoric may be, to steadily advance its capabilities. , which isout time
already fairly small, could drink to nearly zero. does anybody doubt that the voices now raised against this be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities? as someone that does firmly believe iran must not get a nuclear weapon and who has worked with this issue since beginning of my presidency, i can tell you that alternatives to military action will have been exhausted once we reject a diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports. let's not mince words. the choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. here is the irony.
as i said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. supposition,st my every estimate including those from is really analyst -- is raeli analysts suggest it would only set the program back by a few years at best which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this deal. it would likely guarantee inspectors are kicked out of iran. probable that it would drive iran's program deeper underground. it would certainly destroy the international unity that we have spent so many years building. there are some of opponents. i have to give them credit. they accept the choice of war.
in fact, they argue that surgical strikes against the facilities will be quick and painless. if we have learned anything from the last decade, it is that wars in general and wars in the middle east in particular are anything but simple. [applause] pres. obama: the only certainty and war is human suffering. uncertain costs, unintended consequences. that theso be sure americans who bear the heaviest burden are the less than 1% of , the outstanding men and women who serve in uniform, and not those of us who send them to war.
as commander-in-chief, i have not shied away from using force when necessary. i have ordered tens of thousands of young americans into combat. i have set by their bedside sometimes when they come home. actionordered military in several countries. there are times when force is necessary. if iran does not abide by this deal, it is possible that we don't have an alternative. but how can we, in good conscience, justify war before we tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives? that has been agreed to by iran? that is supported by the rest of the world? and that preserves our option if the deal falls short? how can we justify that to our troops?
how can we justify that to the world? or to future generations? in the end, that should be a lesson that we have learned from over a decade of war. on the front end, ask tough questions. subject our own objections. resist the conventional wisdom and the drumbeat of war. worry less about being labeled week, worry more about getting it right. the resorting to force may be tempting in the face of rhetoric and behavior that emanates from some parts of iran. it is offensive. it is incendiary. we do take it seriously. but superpowers should not act
impulsively in response to taunts. or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. just because iranian hardliners chant death to america does not mean that's what all it iranians believe. in fact, it is -- [applause] pres. obama: it is those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. those hardliners chanting death to america who have been most opposed to the deal. they are making a common cause with republican caucus members. [applause] pres. obama: the majority of the iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative
direction. incentives that are strengthened by this deal. we should offer them that chance. we should give them the opportunity. it's not guaranteed to succeed. if they take it, that would be good for iran and good for the united states. it would be good for a region that is known for too much conflict and would be good for the world. if iran does not move in that direction, if iran violates this deal, we will have ample ability to respond. the agreements pursued by with thend reagan soviet union. those agreements and treaties involved america accepting significant constraints on our arsenal. such, they were riskier.
this agreement involves no such constraints. the defense budget of the united states is more than $600 billion. about $15 iran's is billion. our military remains the ultimate backup to any security agreement we make. i have stated that iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon and have done what is necessary to make sure our options are real. that any doubt president who follows me will take the same position. let me sum up here. when we carefully examine the arguments against the steel, -- this deal, none stand up to scrutiny. -- that be rightly the
may be why the rhetoric is so strident. some scrapping to knee-jerk partisanship that has become so familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender. aiding terrorists, endangering freedom. on the other hand, i do think it is important to a knowledge another more understandable motivation behind the opposition , or at least skepticism. for is a sincere affinity our friend and ally israel. hasffinity that someone who been a stalwart friend to israel throughout my career, i deeply share this. when the israeli government is people in something, the united states take notice and they should.
no one can blame israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealing with the government like iran. which includes leaders who deny the holocaust, embrace and ideology of anti-semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are rained on israel's borders. appointed -- pointed at tel aviv. vigilant and it insists it cannot defend on any other country, even it's great friend the united states, for its own security. so we have to take seriously concerns in israel. partly due to
american military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels. israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from iran directly or from its -- on the other hand a nuclear iran changes that equation. that's why this deal must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. exactly --oesn't does exactly that. i say this as someone who is done more than any other president to strengthen israel's security. i have made clear to their government we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation further. with israel talks on concluding another 10 year plan for u.s. security assistance to israel.
enhance information sharing, interdiction, all to help meet rising security needs. againstrovide a hedge any additional activity that iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief. i have also listened to the israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear armed iran for decades. they helped develop many of the ideas that led to this deal. two friends of israel, and to the israeli people, i say this. a nuclear armed iran is far more dangerous to israel, to america, and to the world then and a ron -- iran that benefits from sanctions relief.
i recognize that prime minister netanyahu disagrees strongly. i do not doubt his sincerity. i believe he is wrong. i believe the facts support this deal. are americany interests and for american -- is really interests. it would be the obligation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally. i do not believe it would be the right thing to do for the united states or the right thing to do for israel. [applause]
pres. obama: over the last couple of weeks i have challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better plausible alternative. i have yet to hear one. instead the same types of arguments we have heard in the run-up to the iraq war. iran cannot be dealt with diplomatically. we can take military strikes without significant consequences. we shouldn't worry about the rest of the world thinks, because once we act everyone will fall in line. tougher talk, more military threats will force iran into submission. we can get a better deal. i know it's easy to play on people's fears. to magnify threats. to compare any attempt at
diplomacy to munich. but none of these arguments hold up. they didn't back in 2002 or 2003. they shouldn't now. [applause] pres. obama: the same mindset in many cases offered by the same people. who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong. led it to a war that did more to strengthen iran, more to isolate the united states than anything we have done in the decades before or since. witha mindset out of step the traditions of american
foreign-policy, where we exhaust diplomacy before war, and based matters of war and peace in the cold light of truth. not the absence of conflict, president reagan once said. it is the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. president kennedy warned americans not to see conflict as inevitable. a combination as impossible. and communication is nothing more than the exchange of threats. it is time to apply such wisdom. the deal before us does not bet on iran changing. it does not require trust. it verifies, and requires iran
to forsake nuclear weapons. just as we struck agreements with the soviet union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies against us for claiming their commitment to destroy our way of life and had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our major cities. a genuine, x essential threat. we live in a complicated world. in which the things of human innovation are created for our children, which are unimaginable for most of human history. it is also a world of persistent threats. a world in which mass violence and cruelty is all too common. and human innovation risks the destruction of all we hold dear.
in this world, the united states of america remains the most powerful nation on earth. i believe that we will remain as such for decades to come. we are one nation among many. what separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might. ii, therld war deadliest war in human history, we have used our power to try and bind nations together in a system of international law. an evolution of those human institutions, president kennedy spoke about. to prevent the spread of deadly weapons. to uphold peace and security.
and promote human progress. we now have the opportunity to build on that progress. we built a coalition and held together through sanctions and negotiations. us, ae have before solution that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without resorting to war. proudricans we should be of this achievement. reflectrs of congress on their pending decision, i urge them to set aside political concerns. shut up the noise. gush shut out the noise deal, wess kills this will lose more than just constrains on iran's nuclear
deal or what we have painstakingly built. we will have lost something more precious. as aca's credibility leader of diplomacy. america's credibility is the anchor of the international system. cautioned here, more than 50 years ago at this university, that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war. important. very it is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in this world so full of strife. americans, contact your representatives in congress, remind them of who we are. remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for. so that we can leave behind a
world that is more secure and peaceful for our children. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ >> president obama at american university ending his speech on the iran nuclear deal with a direct appeal to the american people to call their members of congress to support the iran nuclear agreement. that's our question for you as we follow the president with your comments on has the administer shimada its case on the iran nuclear deal. join the congress -- conversation by phone. no, 202-74 8-8920. if you're undecided -- you can also join the conversation on facebook at facebook.com/c-span.
we will look at the tweets. this one from monica who says awesome speech, mr. president. draftd to bring back the so the gop war mongers have skin in the game. angie says obama doesn't care about israel and will say anything to get this deal past. kelly says she doesn't like the sanctions relief but supporting the iran deal otherwise. be careful tightening the rains. donald says telling his lie, why does he push iran while giving up victories and retreating in iraq and afghanistan. and presidenttion making the case at american university and his representatives on capitol hill today. over the last couple of weeks, wendy sherman, assistant undersecretary of state testifying on capitol hill before the senate banking committee.
the headline means of obama negotiator says she didn't see final iran side deals. she says she did not see the final documents, the provisional documents, as did her experts. covered the hearing earlier and it continues now and you can follow it on c-span three. we will show it later in our program schedule. i want to let you know we will be showing the president's speech in its entirety. the president was a bit late this morning getting to american university but once it started, the hour-long speech or so, we will show you again tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. looking forward to comment on facebook. has the administration made its case for the iran nuclear deal? kind of keeping track, all of this is a head of the -- once congress returns.
the senate is in session this week before they wrap up. once congress returns they will consider the iran nuclear deal. the hill has been keeping a track on the votes on that nuclear deal. here's what that whip list looks like. here's a tally of the latest. they write that so far, 26 representatives in the house oppose the deal. leaning yes are eight. leaning no ared five undecided. are 17.d or unclear keeping track of where people stand on the iran nuclear deal. checking twitter again for comments, do you support the deal with the iranian government? ,arl says he supports the deal
president obama needs american support, not making this deal a political issue to win an election. comments from one who is she quotesis for cq, the president when he says there are times when force is necessary if iran does not abide by this deal and it is possible we will not have an alternative. says before the ink was even dry on this deal, before congress even read it, a majority of republicans expressed thereby relent -- virulent opposition. speech.covering the if you say yes the administration has made its case on the iran nuclear deal. 48-8920 if you say no. 748-8922. is 202-
>> welcome to the national press club, i am the news editor for al jazeera media network english-language channel and vice chair of the national press club's board of governors. our guest today is u.s. coast guard admiral and commandant palsied fist-- i would like to introduce our head table guest. say your name briefly as it is announced, from the audience is deblasio, and member of national press club speakers committee, max r -- max
letterer. lieutenant commander natalia cochair of the national press club young members committee. ,aster chief stephen cantrell master chief petty officer of the united states coast guard. wensing, andng -- press club member who arrange today's event, information systems technician second class -- john donnelly, senior defense writer. and cochair of the national press club press freedom committee. well watson, deputy commander of the national press club's american legion branch and john gallagher, senior america's reporter for maritime and trade fair play magazine.
[applause] i also want to welcome our c-span and public radio and online audiences on press.org. i want to remind you you can follow the action on twitter using #ncc lunch. lunch. leads a large component of the department of homeland security. the non-retired coast guard boasts 89,000 personnel including active duty, reserve, and civilian volunteers with a budget of $8.1 billion. down a bit from last year. members of the coast guard operates in the arctic ocean and mitigate recent events like the crisis coming over.
the greenpeace blockade protest against shell. andations in the caribbean providing security and the u.s. and some places as far away as the south china sea. they respond to national disasters like hurricane katrina, we are marking that event a little later, and human causes such as the deep horizon orioles bill -- oil spill. the coast guard rescues more than 3000 people each year and searches for boaters who go missing such as the two teenagers who disappeared off the coast of florida. as the smallest military force and the only one with all enforcement authority, the coast guard has a role in the defense of the united states for 225 years. yesterday was the birthday. today, he will discuss the challenges for the coast guard such as congressional budget
struggles, a well debated cyber security plan, maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and a fleet in need of modernization. please give a warm national press club welcome to the commandant of the united states coast guard. [applause] >> thank you for the flattering introduction and i have a chance to meet many of you before and i wanted to say there are a lot of places you can be but i am delighted you are here. more about what i would say the little engine that could, the u.s. coast guard, whose roots traced back to august 4, 1790. i will tell you about our andory and our president the future and open up questions and answers.
a very spontaneous dialogue recognizing everything we say is on the record. this has been a phenomenal week. michigan,.rned from it was a city of 200,000, here to celebrate the united states coast guard, men and women walking the street of grand haven michigan, young p not giving us flack but saying they love the coast guard. you can't come back to washington dc without spending a better time than coast guard city. theerday we unveiled forever stamp in commemoration of the u.s. coast guard. 13 million stamps because many times, most folks to realize what the coast guard does on a day-to-day basis. tomorrow i will be on the pitching mound at national stadium, during an opening pitch. on saturday, i will be in boston, massachusetts as we
commission our fifth national fretter.threat or -- on monday i will be in san diego. for the ship that will return and i will tell you that will be a big media event. a big shoe if you will. at will be in havana, cuba. we will be opening the embassy the following day and i will be involved with bilateral discussions with the government of cuba with our u.s. interests section there and secretary kerry will be on the 14th as we open up the embassy in cuba. a little bit different than the coast guard that alexander hamilton in vision to 225 years ago as i rattle off what's on my schedule for the next two weeks. slowood news is this is a
two week. that. it will cover the asia-pacific region and arctic so we have a lot going on as well. guard, many times we find ourselves on all seven continents across the globe including antarctica but today we have two special people who are with us. we are only on five of the seven continents but we will go back to all seven of those. joining us first of all is the tenant commander natalie best. she was a commanding officer of a patrol boat serving central command in the straits between iran and bahrain. she was the commanding officer there and i want to make a point that since 1978 every military occupational specialty in the coast guard has been open to women and they hit the ball out of the park, deployed for a year, young child at home, it is great to have you back. [applause]
adm. zukunft: you also heard introduced petty officer riotta genai. he is an information specialist that works in an area where we can't say a lot about what they do. he is also a wing list and served on the coast cutter mellon. he was involved in a multilateral operation, not the nexus size, working with china, japan, korea, russia, canada, and the u.s.. but really us-led and he was our linguist for japan. it is really hard to do combined operations if you cannot speak a universal language. we have been operating in this domain for a number of years under the auspices of what we call the north pacific coast guard for him. 0-- forum.
some of our key asia-pacific partners, thank you for your work [applause] over there. [applause] imagine it is august 4, 1790. the continental navy was disbanded, the last ship was auctioned off in 1785. while we emerged as victors from a revolutionary war we were very much a bankrupt nation. our first secretary of treasury, a championamilton, of understatements said if we had 10 sentinels posted at our ports, might they do some good for the prosperity of our nation? a tariff act was passed before that but you had pirates, people bypassing our tariff laws, our maritime nation without any maritime governments. alexander hamilton had this vision that we would charter 10 revenue cutters and that he
wrote a letter to each one of those commanding officers and wasn't so big on specifications of those 10 ships. somewhere between 36, 40 feet. by the way, each one cost $1000 a piece. he sent his commanding officers to build them and the first one came in at $2500, 2.5 times its initial acquisition cost. our acquisition program and portfolio, our growth is less than 2%. we won four of eight of the federal acquisition awards so we have come some way since 1790. the most important piece alexander hamilton charged those commanding officers is to be mindful that we are a country of free men and we are impatient of those who do not have a temperate attitude and abuse the rights of our citizens.
to thoseat letter commanding officers that lives within the dna of the coast guard today and it is reflected in our core values, honor, respect, and devotion to duty. force where weed used the sniper rounds to disable outboard engines and we did that nearly once each week last year. there wasn't one person injured during those interactions. yesterday there was a boater in seattle shooting weapons at police officers. the coast guard came in, we surrounded him, and we used the most powerful instrument, the strongest muscle in our body which has the least restraint. our tongue. we talk to this person down. if you go back to alexander hamilton's charge, be mindful that we are a country of free men. i'm very mindful of the fact that heavy-handed tactics play out on cnn and you do not see
the coast guard of yesterday or today involved in these heavy-handed law enforcement tactics. it really gets back to the dna of our people serving on the front lines of our coast guard. i could not be more proud of what they do. fast-forward to present day, i talk about one of our national security cutters. we have been a member of the national intelligence community for some time. we are not only an arm service, a law enforcement service, we are a member of the national intelligence community. when i'm in san diego i will meet the coast guard cutter stratton./ it is the third of our national security cutters coming off foreign to half months of deployment. -- four and a half months of deployment. the 32 plus metric tons of cocaine were interdicted on one patrol. these are multiple interdictions over 4.5 months. all of this driven by
intelligence. when i came into this job we had about 90% of the drug flow ultimately destined to the united states. it comes from places like honduras, el salvador, and guatemala. are the same countries of origin were unaccompanied minors were entering the united states.. demand ins target a the united states and there is a exodus between regional stability and drug trafficking. we have 90% of the drug flow. we were able to target about 10%. some of this intelligence comes from confidential informants. there are not paid much from their host nations. he's a fisherman and he might be paid $300 to give us actionable information.
if he is found out he will be assassinated and so will his family. you get that information. i don't have enough ships. the good news is we're close that gap by 35% in the last year, which means we are not doing something else somewhere else and i can't tell you what that is what we have doubled down on the transit zone and it is making a huge difference. i don't think alexander hamilton envisioned the arctic. we had protesters in portland, oregon as one of shells ships was departing. we had propellers jump off a bridge and help the ship up. to strike a balance, you really can be protesting here, but that ship is making its way up to the arctic. shell is drilling as i speak. five years ago today i was in the gulf of mexico where i spent as the federal
unseen coordinator of the deepwater horizon oil spill. to a major oil spill in the arctic, you can measure in gallons, not barrels. we need to be mindful that show is responsible in carrying out its responsibilities. we will have five ships and we will have several helicopters operating. last winter we saw the record low sea ice extent in the arctic region and as the ice starts to retreat we may see a record retreatment of sea ice. 2012 was a record year. 14 of the 15 warmest years in the arctic have happened in the last 15 years. there's a lot more water than where there used to be ice. not only that, but 5% of this five percent is chartered to modern-day standards.
iceland a month and a halfg ago, i looked up their charts when the most recent survey work was, they sent their boat up in front of them so they don't stumble upon anything. this year we will have 200,000 tourists that will venture into the arctic. many cruise ships go flying by at 25 knots. the reason i say this is when i met the -- captain, i asked how many years of sea duty he had. 58. more than magellan. he is uncertain about what's up there but what happens if one of those cruise ships were to find a pinnacle?
we knew what happened with titanic. stillw because we are flying the international ice patrol 133 years later to warn mariners of ice. lifeu have a mass loss of in the arctic, the coast guard will be pressed into service. we are engaged in active campaign. icebreaker,k at an it is a national asset. it serves multiple stakeholders interests, not just coast guard. national science foundation, department of interior, the list goes on. it's not like passing the plate at church and asking everyone to donate. there's an agreement that this is a national requirement, we need to come up with a way to fund it.
the next acquisition for the coast guard will be the offshore patrol cutter. i took a ranking member from the senate to visit one of our ships. ,t was a 210 foot cutter 50 years old, we are on the fifth generation that have served on the same ship. it rocksns fuel, around a little bit. we are only on the ship for 90 minutes and he's already uncomfortable but we are sending crews out there for months on end to serve on the ship. i told him let me show you the engine room and we look at the two diesel engines drop in there in 1964 and the engineer says, welcome to the one platform and are inventory that is
impregnable against a cyber attack because there is not one digital system on the ship. recapitalize these assets and that is why the offshore patrol cutter as you may have heard me say is our number one priority going forward. i wasou look at cyber, just over there yesterday to wish them happy birthday, but in one of those faults there was a very aggressive nationally sponsored cyber attack that took place. it was a spear phishing attack. i can't say a whole lot about that but it's had it significant impact on a federal agency in u.s. government. i'm not talking about the opn hack. this is highly classified but it was our standards that were able to kill that spear phishing attack before it reached our recipients. had they opened it, we would've
had to take him off of that and it's no coincidence that many of the targeted recipients were senior officers in the coast guard. --chile, they can't spell fortunately, they can't spell zukunft. i released a cyber strategy we pushed out last fall. the industry is coming to us. we regulate the maritime industry, post-9/11, one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation was a security act 2002. that requires vessels and our maritime facilities to recognize that 90% of our global trade moves by sea. they have done a great job of that. i happened to be down at a facility that is still being doled out in louisiana and will
give you the name because it would be an insider trade secret. when this facility is up and running will move more liquid natural gas than any other carrier in the world. what a great time for that to do this at a point where the united states sits on the largest reserves of lng as well and panama canal expansion project my was in their last november, by all indications will open up probably on or about the first of april of 2016. it's 180 feet wide but it can take ships of the 160 feet wide. supplys lng carriers can the asia-pacific market with lng and do so and in a timely fashion. you know you are in southern carriesa when the rope ships to alligators. they have the physical security
and said what are you doing about euros and -- 0's and 1's. i so i said what you doing about the invisible attack? i said you are supplying the asia-pacific market and i said there's another competitor called russia. the ground rules haven't changed my comes to cyber these days. might someone like a national targeted attack try to shut you down so you don't take their market share? i said what's the coast guard standards for cyber? we don't have one. industry is incentivize, how did they get smart on cyber? we need to be a little leverage cyber. four weeks ago we had drug interdictions, each one loaded with a ton of cocaine. canada, the from united states, mexico, central america, six boats over an expanse that large in the open
ocean. we got all six. we would not be able to get those if we did not leverage the cyber domain. work in thethat intelligence community can probably figure out how to do that. if someone comprises our ability to do cyber, we are not able to do that. when you look at search-and-rescue, i only wish those two teenagers had an emergency distress beacon. we would've found them in minutes, not even an hour. that goes up to a satellite and comes down near real-time and we are ready to launch within 30 minutes and we would've been on .cene nothing is harder for me than when i tell a family member that one of ours has died in the line of duty but all of our commanders make those notifications to first of kin
. when we make those notifications it's like we have lost a member of our family as well. as alexander hamilton reminded us, we are a country of free men and we gave it our best effort and search over 44,000 square miles from florida to north carolina. we did not find these young boys which we take personally but ciber is a big enabler in our ability to do that. a little bit about the past and present and i am excited about the future of the coast guard. the future is represented by the people sitting here at the head table. this is the best educated coast guard that i have seen in my 42 years i have been around. i would not get into the coast guard academy today. the new leaders coming out of the coast guard are superior you are i stood and the
going to have many more capable future leaders of our service. they are fully empowered. he's a pursuit cox and. he shouldered it and was able to interdict the cocaine. 's voice went something like this. i watched, i went out, and i stopped about. -- stopped the boat. i said there's more of the story. i said to me more about the strategy. you said these are the best people i've ever served with and i am honored to be on the ship. i am asked him what you going to do? he said his tour was up and he will be cervi serving on the stratton. i will be a qualified
underway ood. russo's in,000 em to the coast guard. our backbone as it was, going 1790, we have- better than we did in 1790 but alexander hamilton's vision is alive and well. it resonates with each and every person in the coast guard. what i'd like to do is open it up the question-and-answer. [applause] >> now the fun part. some of the questions have been interesting.
senate armed services committee members are concerned that russia has 40 arctic icebreaker ships and america has one. will that change and when? adm. zukunft: i have one of mice vice admirals -- bite admirals ] to see firsthand what some of the challenges are up there. thingslaska, we now see being built because he used to have a natural firm -- burm. to see coastal erosion. you are seeing a threefold increase in human activity there. the united states has one heavy icebreaker. we have a medium icebreaker that can break ice up to eight feet that which is operated up there right now but our only heavy
icebreaker is nearly 40 years old. this past winter when the polar star was coming back from antarctica, it is the most powerful non-nuclear power icebreaker in the world. it is an awesome ship but it is 40 years old. on the way back there was a new zealand trawler to be set in ice 150 miles into an ice field so that ice -- the only ship anywhere in that hemisphere that can rescue them was the polar star. they did, they did a great job when they got 150 miles an, thinking this was a 40-year-old ship, god for bid they have a casualty, who will come to the rescue? rescuer. have a u.s. . nobody system -- no buddy system. this is drawing a lot of attention.
i've also been working with the house and senate. as i said earlier, how you fund it is the billion dollar question. this is generating a lot of interest and i am optimistic. we will see forward progress as we look up to building a national fleet of icebreaker's. we had seven when i entered. we are down to two. >> you talked about the phishing attack. when was it? adm. zukunft: this happened in the third week in july. you are not directly targeted but the coast guard is on the .gov domain. the coast guard higde hides behind the lead curtain.
there were a number of other higher-level officials. i was on the list that you can imagine there were high targets. some of those attacks were successful meeting those individuals and their files had to be taken down completely. it takes a while to build those backup so it does cause a disruption. we were not disrupted but we were not the primary target. >> continuing on the cyber questions. some critics are saying the coast guard said a security strategy, cyber hygiene and originality and funding. disagree?ee or adm. zukunft: i disagree. company of 70 cyber experts. i call them experts but not warriors because their first job is to defend our cyber domain. just as we did with the spear
phishing attack and we have seen a number of others. to infiltratempts our data systems on a daily basis. at the same time they are the ones who keep and i out near real-time and they said they need to charge their iphone and plug it into the domain. . alarms go off and when it comes to cyber hygiene, the next step is accountability. you need to be careful how i word that. it is considered undue command influence. we need to look at accountability standards if we have training. not plugging the devices into our network but it still happens. our biggest threat is it's not just us. there was a mobile offshore drilling unit that drove off the site it was drilling on because , somebody onystems that drilling unit had plugged in a device that had malware
signal couldthat not communicate with the thrusters and then mobile offshore drilling unit drove off the site. fortunately the blowout preventer kicked in and we did not have a spill. it cost of that drilling company millions of dollars to get back on site and reestablish it. cyber hygiene is a big piece. we are part of u.s. cyber command. we are the only armed service that does that. we are a unique instrument when it comes to cyber security. there is an opinion, but let me counter it. that is my retort to that particular question. >> thank you, commandant. what, given veto threats over homeland security, what dollar
et does the coast guard actually need to tackle its mission going forward and why? admiral zukunft: a total budget is about $10 billion. last year for the second consecutive year, the coast guard had a clean financial audit opinion. i talked about our acquisition program, less than 2% growth across our entire acquisition portfolio. when we buy stuff, we keep it. we maintain it very well. we haven't ships 50 years old. two, wender checkbook, drive a hard bargain when we buy stuff and we take good care of it. what we have not had over the last several years is a reliable and repeatable acquisition budget. we have seen swings as wide as nearly 40%.
when i am challenge that my program of record is not affordable -- it is like saying your mortgage is not affordable either when someone took 50% of your disposable income away from you. you are going to have to foreclose. if you did not cut me 40%, this is a sustainable program of record. are seeing a shift in direction, where the value proposition of the coast guard and aly being appreciated number of members, both chambers are saying we need to invest in the coast guard. i am very optimistic with the markups we have seen so far, i can't share those with you, but it may bring the largest acquisition budget for the coast guard in coast guard history. i'm pretty excited about that. one of your recent hearings, some members criticized the
coast guard for a lack of timely delivery of your capitalization plan. how would you respond to that? one is aukunft: five-year plan and the other is a 20 year plan. it's very difficult to chart out and if that is going to be able to statement you will make 20 years from now, we know that 15 years ago we did not predict 9/11. was released a year and a half ago we did not predict the rise of isil, ukraine, ebola. we live in a very dynamic world today where if you walk your way across from east to west and around the world, i challenge you to find a region of tranquility. operatingry complex environments.
when you look at the hamilton class cutters, we modernize those as we went along. you make sure whatever you buy has space weight and power availability to accommodate new systems for new threats that are somewhere over the horizon. when you look at the national security cutter, that is an to work in what is probably an opaque world if you look 10, 15 years, but those ships will be operating well after i cross the bar. we have made smart decisions about what we have acquired. they will be around 20 years from now as well. >> facebook is building drones that are man-free and solar powered. they can fly for three months consecutively. could that technology help the coast guard in the future with constant coverage? when you are engaged in joan
technology, there's always a debate between civil liberties deployment and personnel. how do you deal with the technology of lengthy usage of debateand b, the ongoing over usage of drones in terms of civil liberties? admiral zukunft: fortunately out on the high seas it gets pretty lonely out there. we are the only entity that has a unique compendium of authorities outside of 12 miles of u.s. waters. we have over 60 bilateral agreements that deal with proliferation security that deal with fishery regulations. today, we before you are using drone technology on the coast guard cutter healy, flying out where there are leads in the ice has thermal imaging, look to see where there might be mammal activity. it is much easier to use drone technology and sometimes marginal weather you would
otherwise put human beings at risk. exact same thing and do it persistently try drone technology, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. we have used it in counter drug operations as well. used it in one intervention were normally the ship comes charging over the horizon, glue lights screaming. this case, one of our national security cutters lost a drone and they realized it was a refueling vessel waiting for that loaded with cocaine to get refueled and continue on its way. instead of charging over the horizon for the next 36 hours, it is like sitting in a deer blind and you put a salt lick down there as well. they stock this thing for 36 hours. they bring the drone back, then they launched the armed helicopter. we got several tons of cocaine out of that as well. we got the bad guys and they are
now in a safe house, providing us valuable information. have beenat would possible without drone technology. are we going to on the upper edge on that? probably not. commercial off-the-shelf the shelf, adversaries -- organized billion a $750 industry. i'm going after that with a $10 billion budget and their biggest challenge is how do you launder $750 billion? there is no sequestration with these ill-gotten gains. of a mismatch as we try to match technology against our adversaries. when you look at drone technology, i see that as a challenge as we look 20 years out and probably in the next five years. >> you mentioned your coordinating role in the deepwater horizon. inre have been a few spills the news lately. given your experience as the on-site coordinator for five or seven months, what are the
lessons learned from deepwater horizon as permits are now opening up and more drilling is up 10 years later that the coast guard can apply? admiral zukunft: tip o'neill probably said it right. as in politics, all things are local. oil10 yearsit is no different h spills. if you are not engaged first and foremost at the local label -- level -- as it impacted the gulf states, very hurricane prone part of our country accustomed to operating under the stafford act. you declare a national emergency and under the stafford act the governor reigns supreme. under the clean water act with an oil spill, the federal government reigns supreme. states anded five impacted five republican states leading up to midterm elections. if you're looking at an oil
spill, you need to look at it like a rubik's cube and look at every angle behind this. one is a huge media event. it was my job to get it out of the national press, at least get it on the back full of the "washington post." how do work -- how do you work with the media to tell your story? i was never going to win the day over a tar ball on the beach. when you look at the daily leech rate of the offshore relief well drilling, skimming and all of that activity just offshore alone, was probably in the neighborhood of $50 million a day being expended by d.p. we have 47,000 responders bigger than our active duty coast guard responding to this as well. getting the media out to where the heavy artillery was, trying to get the source of this oil and where we are most effective was offshore. then getting all of that out into social media, we worked thisnoaa and created
application called environmental response management application, and we pushed it out onto the web was we got that fully up and running. on the first day we had 200,000 hits. on day two it was $2.2 million. it went viral after that. rather than people waiting for the new cycle, they can go to near real-time, look at jpeg encrypted photos, they can manipulate data and draw their own conclusions. the final piece was we had 70 coast guard officers detailed to every governor. if they did not like the way there county, their parish, their state was being allocated resources -- you go to that coast guard person first. and try togo to cnn steer the ship through national media. let's work together on this and build unity of effort. ofyou do not have unity effort, this will become a media in vent and that at the end of the environment will suffer as a result.
>> freedom of information lawsuit was filed the requires that shall make public details of the safety of their arctic drilling equipment. do you agree those should be made public given the coast guard's mission to make the arctic safe? admiral zukunft: when it comes to safety there is a need to know. there's clearly proprietary information when it comes to oil spill leases. the auctioning of these leases is one of the largest sources of revenue generation in our federal treasury. , the safetyting standards are in place. they are shared with us and the department of interior and i believe there is a need for the of whato be informed safeguards are in place to mitigate any impact in the environment. lot about budget
constraints and all the challenges. some priorities are going to win and some will lose. you talked about what is going to win. what is going to lose? admiral zukunft: what can't lose its force structure. all the service chiefs are grappling with the same dilemma, how do you modernize and maintain force structure at the same time? our active duty coast guard component among the 88,000 is right around 40,000 people. themat 88,000, 31,000 of are all volunteers, coast guard auxiliary. i can't even call them a force multiplier because i pay them nothing. they provide millions of free man hours supporting coast guard missions that do not involve putting themselves at risk. mostly our recreational boating community, but i cannot cut force structure. maybe you make these difficult decisions of what operations you
would have to cut. we have always defined ourselves by 11 statutory missions. some would say, get rid of those missions. each one of those missions has a program element assigned to it so when you divest of a mission you divest of the funding that goes with it and all you had at the end of the day is a smaller coast guard. 100 years ago was when the name coast guard first came into being. the first commandant of the coast guard was under attack by the attack commission that said, we need to strip away all of this and move all your authorities into the navy. when they did the study they realized it would cost the navy over 40% more of what it cost at that point the revenue cutter service to do what he did on a day-to-day basis. if you are looking for efficiencies, you are not going to find them. many of our platforms are swiss army knives that can operate in a multiple of domains and mission sets, including working side-by-side with our navy, our
department of defense service members as well. are the most critical asset, but you may have to trim operations. you may have to slow down and acquisition, as painful as that is, you can recover from it. people, it'srid of difficult to bring them in, absent a major contingency like a 9/11. my approach to our human resource capital is to hold fast on the human resource capital that we have an look at where there is opportunities for further growth, especially in the cyber domain. change and alaska, since the president gave one of his commencement speeches at the academy, how is climate change going to change the coast guard's job in the next few decades? toughl zukunft: that's a one. i use the "reverse versus ice covered water comparison to read
we are seeing large expanses of open water. widely agreed that the seawater temperature is rising and sea level is rising. with that is you have more frequent and more severe typhoons. clearing out a category two typhoon that just hit saipan. two years ago super typhoon high on hit the philippines with the highest ever recorded winds from nearly 200 miles an hour. if you can imagine a tornado 60 miles across -- if one of those hit the united states, we might be convinced that what is going on with the world's climate today. rising temperature -- as water expands, it rises as well. we have low-lying islands in the pacific islands that are inundated with water, extreme high ties right now.
these are some of the challenges we need to look at great when we look at infrastructure being built today, that is going to be around 100 years from now, did you factor in a rise of five or six feet of seawater? an area that does not get a lot of attention is greenland. when you look at greenland, as those glace years melt, it is freshwater and it syncs. it displaces warmer saltwater the rises to the surface. now you have warm saltwater and cold ice and you have this temperature gradient that usually causes more severe winds, accelerates erosion, mori's being released. you can't put that on a linear model in terms of ice melt, rising sea levels, but if you do -- welease plan for that are very much a coastal nation, but we need to take all these factors into account, as does the coast guard. but you cannot plan this in two, four, six-year windows of time.
we need to be thinking 10, 15 years out. it's easy to delay that decision and say it will not happen on my watch. on my watch i need to make sure three, don's from now says, i'm glad they police paid attention to some of this. how much of navigable waters increased in the arctic? admiral zukunft: i would not say it has increased. there's a lot more activity up there. there's a cruise ship planning to run from the bering sea carrying overand, 1000 passengers next year through the northwest passage. as i said earlier, much of this area -- 5% is charted to what we would call 21st century standards. void up there is a
great concern because if one of these ships does find a pentacle, we have a seamount named after the coast guard cutter healy because they found one. it rises up over 10,000 feet from the seafloor. fortunately they found it with their side scan sonar and not with their hull. that is a big concern as you look at charting, navigation. we are also looking at a traffic separation scheme in the bering strait to ensure that you do not have collisions at see up there as well. -- sea up there as well. similar questions, should the navy take possession of the coast guard's icebreakers? what would you say to giving up that mission? how important is it to have more than just a few icebreakers and modernize the ships you have given russian proliferation of assets? how is the arctic mission changing given russia's build up? i have a seatft:
with the chairman and the other service chiefs once a week. each year we have staff talks. we have had lengthy discussions about the arctic, and i am confident that at the greener -- that [indiscernible] does not want to take on the ice breaking mission. when you look at what an icebreaker needs to do in the 21st century, clearly it needs to break ice. it needs to be able to support the scientific mission. russia is mlitilitarizing the arctic. asyou look at an icebreaker you look into the future and then if you look at modular make sureou want to you reserve space, weight, and power. those are the discussions we are having, not to pass this off to one or the other, but you look at the future requirements of a
heavy icebreaker, there's got to be more than just break ice. there has to be a multitude of things. you want to make sure you have some modularity built into that, if that is being used as an instrument to exert u.s. sovereignty. some in the coast guard recall a success story in the south china sea. what you hear in military parlance about the asia pivot, what is the coast guard's role given its limited resources, given its shrinking budget, given its rob peter to pay paul? admiral zukunft: i will be in the philippines. i will be in vietnam, and i will with a six way discussion five other nations, including russia, china, japan, korea.
table asll be at the well. china has created a china coast guard. they used to have a seagoing service called the five dragons. comeof these services under the auspices of a china coast guard. there has been a lot of discussion that we should deploy cutters over to the east and south china sea. our u.s. policy is one of nonintervention. i liken it to a dog that chases a bus and you caught the bus, what do you do with it? if i send one ship over there, d 10a consent 10 -- can sen to my 1. if it's a numbers game i am never going to win. if i look at the one ship over there -- i look at the opportunity cost. this last fall we wrote out a strategy for the western hemisphere. the uss kauffman, the last of the. class bigots -- last of the decommissioned
[indiscernible] there are some trade-offs being made there as well. if they are vacating one region, i need to make sure i'm doubling down on that joy that has been created by the navy. the opportunity cost if i send one ship to the east and south the dog that catches the bus, what is our policy going forward, and then the void i have left behind as well. we have written a cooperative strategy for the 21st century. each service chief has signed that. as i look at the coast guard -- i look at the coast guard is filling those vacuum spots created as the navy rebalance is, where can the coast guard fill some of those requirements as a seagoing service? >> does the coast guard
currently have a strong ability to share resources in real-time with multiple homeland security partners, like customs and border patrol and others? if not, would this help improve the mission's success? admiral zukunft: our department has only been around 12 years. 1986 thet until goldwater nichols came to the realization that we need join us among our armed services. we do not have a goldwater nichols act for the interagency partners. have threehave, we task forces. onet task east, west, and for investigations, the intel piece of this. in each of these task forces you have coast guard and immigrations and customs enforcement working side-by-side. we have a joint requirement counsel within the department of homeland security. it looks that joint requirements across -- in this case, the armies, navies, and air forces
of the department of homeland security. platform'sisr minotaur that we are using. it is a dod enterprise. this really works. this is a great system. we are also looking at interoperability and commonality of systems. it makes it more affordable, makes parts more reliable, and you can also capitalize on the schoolhouses for the systems as well. we have come pretty far in a dhs buildingthin unity of effort across the various components. >> do you see a time of the coast guard returning to the department of defense? admiral zukunft: probably not. the one value we bring to dod is we can do title 10, we are a military service, but we also do title 14.
if you look at any campaign plan, there is probably some embargo provision written into that it may require a law enforcement authority which the coast guard can bring to the table. title 10, we go to can do that on the flight as well. our systems are interoperable. we do not come with systems that cannot speak with dod systems. our new platforms have navy type, navy owned, but fully interoperable with our navy and seagoing service brethren. when it comes to migration, especially from the caribbean, do you support the one foot, dry foot policy? how have recent efforts in cuba -- are likely to affect that in other matters in that region? we havezukunft:
brand-new fast response cutters. there was an expectation that migration policy would change around christmas. it did not, but that was a perception in cuba. we had a spike in migration. we were able to apprehend almost one of those boats destined for the florida coastline. but then it takes about five days to go through a screening process before these folks are brought back to cuba. within the last two weeks we had two migrants that shot themselves and were met in fact evac'd back to the united states. we had another four that found bleach and drank it. we have others that will self mutilate, do whatever it takes to get their feet dry in the united states. our crews are trying to safeguard these folks for five days while they are picking up more because of a feet dry policy.
it puts our people at risk, others at risk. when you look at our policy versus what has played out on the north coast of africa, we are saving lives. we are apprehending, but many of these folks are in unseaworthy flotsam that might have a motor on it, but it is a humanitarian mission as well that they are going to live. they will probably try to cross again. the feet dry policy does make a challenge for those trying to better their lives and those doing enforcement to be able to safeguard them until we have a clear light to be able to repatriate them back to cuba. i'm going to present you with a national press club mug. admiral zukunft: thank you. [applause] >> noting that we are the leading organization for professional journalists.
i'm going to ask you one question about the mets. are the mets going all the way this year? 1969 -- you had dunklin dennis. he was the m.v.p. the names of changed a bit. now they are names like ces pedes and uribes. they have got the hitting. they've got the commandant of the coast guard. when i throw the opening pitch tomorrow -- if you throw a wrom hitsworm burner and if it max scherzer in the shin and he is taken out for the next two weeks -- i would not do that.